Tuesday 25 April 2017

Andrews slams Kean

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

KEITH ANDREWS has accused Steve Kean of bowing to pressure from fans and freezing him out of the picture at Blackburn.

The Irish midfielder has enjoyed a good week after playing a major part in securing qualification for Euro 2012, but the international happiness contrasts sharply with his club situation.

Andrews has been a constant target for the Ewood Park boo-boys since joining in 2008, initially because of his relationship with then manager Paul Ince, who brought him to the club from MK Dons. He is currently on loan at Ipswich until January, with the Championship club wanting to make the switch permanent.

While the Dubliner is mulling over his options, he has made it clear he does not want to return to Blackburn.

This weekend is the anniversary of the Venky's takeover, a development which led to the appointment of Kean. Andrews is clearly of the opinion that the Scot is a weak figure compared to his predecessor, Sam Allardyce.

"My face probably didn't fit entirely when I was there for whatever reason, but when the manager is not playing you because of fans then it becomes an issue," said Andrews.

"The fans were not an issue for me because I couldn't give two hoots what they're saying, but I was told at one stage last season that I was being left out because of the fans, so really the writing was on the wall from then -- and that was from the present manager.

"You would expect the manager to stand up to that. Under Sam, I was playing at right-back at one stage because we had a few injuries and I remember him talking to me about it and it didn't affect him in the slightest with his team selections."

With Kean, it's a different situation. Ironically enough, his controversial appointment is getting similar treatment from the stands, with further protests planned to call for his removal.

"Maybe what goes around comes around," suggested Andrews. "I am not one for holding grudges. A lot of things have gone on behind the scenes.

"I am not the sort of person to go and slate people in public and that sort of thing, but I was not happy with the way certain things happened and the way I was treated towards the end. I could have stayed there and tried to get my place, or just sat on my backside and picked up my money, but I wanted to go out and play.

"Thankfully they allowed me to go on loan so I have no axe to grind. I just want to go out and play football and the bigger picture is I have a European Championships to look forward to in the summer."

Andrews is conscious that the decision he makes early in the new year will have a big impact on his run-up to the finals. Certainly, the 31-year-old has benefited from regular football at Ipswich.

Andrews accepts that Blackburn have been unfortunate in some of their recent Premier League games, but he doesn't anticipate being involved in their battle against relegation.

However, he is open-minded about where he goes from here.

"I don't take any satisfaction whatsoever in seeing them second bottom of the Premier League and the way they have been struggling. I have some good friends there and it is not nice to see," he said. "My loan is up in January and I have no desire whatsoever to go back to Blackburn.

"I really, really don't want to go back there but I am under contract for another two years so we will have to wait and see what happens in January.

"But I certainly want a permanent move. Ipswich have indicated they would like to do something permanent. They have been very good to me and I have enjoyed my time there.

"Whether a move is to Ipswich or not, I am not too sure what is going to be done, and I am sure my agent will be talking to clubs between now and the end of it (the loan) to see what interest there is."

You don't have to read between the lines to draw the conclusion that anything will be preferable to returning to the misery of Lancashire.

Irish Independent

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